The International EMF Collaborative, a group of international electromagnetic radiation (EMR) watchdogs, including Powerwatch and the EMR Policy Institute, issued a new report detailing several design flaws in a major but oft-delayed Interphone study funded by the telecommunications industry. The report comes down squarely on the cell-phones-cause-cancer side of the debate, and claims children in particular have a greater risk of developing brain tumors from cell phone use.
The report, "Cell Phones and Brain Tumors: 15 Reasons for Concerns (Science, Spin and the Truth Behind Interphone)," is written by an international group of scientists from the USA, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Austria, Germany, the UK, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Russia, Spain and Sweden.
The report's main conclusions are: There is a "significant" risk of brain tumors from cell phone use; EMR exposure limits used by governments and supported by the telecom industry do not take into consideration the non-thermal effects of EMR exposure; and design flaws of the Interphone study include selection bias, insufficient latency time to expect a tumor diagnosis, unrealistic definition of what makes a "regular" cell phone user, exclusion of a large number of people, including children and young adults, users of cordless phones, people too ill with brain tumors to be interviewed, and people with particular types of brain tumors.
The report also criticizes the Interphone study for not making researchers available to examine the study's methodology.
Here's the report's list of concerns in brief:
Concern 1: Industry's own research showed cellphones caused brain tumors.
Concern 2: Subsequent industry-funded research also showed that using a cellphone elevated the risk of brain tumors (2000-2002).
Concern 3: Interphone studies, published to date, consistently show use of a cellphone for less than 10 years protects the user from a brain tumor.
Concern 4: Independent research shows there is risk of brain tumors from cellphone use.
Concern 5: Despite the systemic-protective-skewing of all results in the Interphone studies, significant risk for brain tumors from cellphone use was still found.
Concern 6: Studies independent of industry funding show what would be expected if wireless phones cause brain tumors.
Concern 7: The danger of brain tumors from cellphone use is highest in children, and the younger a child is when he/she starts using a cellphone, the higher the risk.
Concern 8: There have been numerous governmental warnings about children's use of cellphones.
Concern 9: Exposure limits for cellphones are based only on the danger from heating.
Concern 10: An overwhelming majority of the European Parliament has voted for a set of changes based on "health concerns associated with electromagnetic fields."
Concern 11: Cellphone radiation damages DNA, an undisputed cause of cancer.
Concern 12: Cellphone radiation has been shown to cause the blood-brain barrier to leak.
Concern 13: Cellphone user manuals warn customers to keep the cellphone away from the body even when the cellphone is not in use.
Concern 14: Federal Communications Commission (FCC) warning for cordless phones.
Concern 15: Male fertility is damaged by cellphone radiation.
"Exposure to cellphone radiation is the largest human health experiment ever undertaken, without informed consent, and has some 4 billion participants enrolled," said lead author and member of the Bioelectromagnetics Society Lloyd Morgan, in a statement. "Science has shown increased risk of brain tumors from use of cellphones, as well as increased risk of eye cancer, salivary gland tumors, testicular cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and leukemia. The public must be informed."
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